PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates were on a roll entering Wednesday night, but the Rockies' pitching held their red-hot lineup in check. Right-hander German Marquez limited the Pirates to one run in five-plus innings, and the bullpen took over from there, lifting the Rockies to a 5-1 win over the Pirates
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates were on a roll entering Wednesday night, but the Rockies' pitching held their red-hot lineup in check. Right-hander German Marquez limited the Pirates to one run in five-plus innings, and the bullpen took over from there, lifting the Rockies to a 5-1 win over the Pirates in the series finale on Wednesday at PNC Park.
"[Marquez] did a nice job," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "[His] stuff was good, and he made some pitches when he needed to."
The Pirates -- who had won four straight -- were hitting .311 in the month of June, and had registered 10 or more hits in nine out of their last 12 games. Marquez, though, scattered just four hits in five innings. He ran into trouble in the sixth after placing runners on first and third with no outs, but Rockies reliever Chris Rusin got Gregory Polanco to ground into a double play with his first pitch. The bullpen only allowed two more hits from that point.
"They have good pitchers, man," Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli said. "This time, we couldn't [get hits]."
The Rockies supplied run support by playing small ball after Ian Desmond's second-inning home run. Pirates right-hander Chad Kuhl issued a walk to Desmond to lead off the fifth. The Rockies' left fielder later scored, thanks to a pair of singles from Raimel Tapia and Trevor Story. Tapia also scored on a fielding error from first baseman Josh Bell to give the Rockies a 3-0 lead. Colorado tacked on runs in the seventh and ninth to snap a three-game losing streak.
"They persevere. They stay at it," Black said of his club. "There's sort of a quiet tenacity to our group."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Striking first: Desmond put the Rockies on the board with a solo shot that barely cleared the left-field wall. The umpires had to review whether there was fan interference, but the homer was eventually upheld. It had an exit velocity of 94.5 mph and a launch angle of 28 degrees, and traveled a projected 361 feet, according to Statcast™.
Pirates stranded: The Pirates had several opportunities to cut into the Rockies' lead. One of their best chances came in the seventh, when they loaded the bases with one out. But Rockies reliever Jake McGee got Adam Frazier to pop out and then struck out Josh Harrison to end the frame.
"[Innings] five, six and seven, we are out there [on base]," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "We get one of those innings to click, it's a different game. We get all three to click, it's a different game. We didn't get any to click. … One of the reasons we lost 5-1."
"We said before the game, play his game, do what he does. And he did. Beat out some balls in the infield. We tried to steal a base, didn't happen. Tagged up on a fly ball. On the safety squeeze, he got a good jump, and Bell had to make a quick play and just bobbled it because of the speed of Tapia." --- Black, on Tapia's 4-for-4 game
"It's awesome. That's a really good ballclub. A really good test. Taking the series is awesome. Sweeping them would have been nice, but taking the series against these guys is great. --- Kuhl, on taking two out of three against the Rockies
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Tapia registered a career-high four hits after struggling at the plate for most of the season. The Rockies' No. 3 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, only had two hits in 19 at-bats before Wednesday night.
CLEAR THE BENCHES
Both dugouts poured onto the field in the fifth after Cervelli was hit by a pitch. The Pirates' catcher had words with Rockies backstop Tony Wolters immediately after the pitch, causing both teams to confront each other on the diamond. Both teams returned to the dugout without any ejections.
"I looked at Marquez and that was it. I was about to take off my gear," Cervelli said. "But Wolters starts saying a lot of things and I didn't like it. So that's it. … I can't tell you [what he said]. It's between me and him."
Rockies: Colorado returns home after a seven-game trip to start a four-game series with the Giants on Thursday at 6:40 p.m. MT. Right-hander Jeff Hoffman, pressed into the rotation because of injuries, has been terrific, striking out 24 and walking one in his last three starts.
Pirates: Right-hander Trevor Williams will start as the Pirates begin a three-game series against the Cubs on Friday at 7:05 p.m. ET at PNC Park. Williams labored in his last start against the Marlins on Saturday, allowing five runs on six hits in just four innings. He surrendered two earned runs on five hits in five innings during two relief appearances against the Cubs earlier this season.
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Jonathan Toye is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.
Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh and covered the Rockies on Wednesday.